To stop smoking you must first stop fooling yourself! Let me explain.
Most people feel that having a cigarette or roll-up is relaxing and that they deserve it because life is hard. So, they light up, inhale a deep breath of smoky pleasure and are left feeling satisfied and well rewarded.
In the immediate this is true. When a cigarette is lit a dose of nicotine reaches the brain in about ten seconds and, at first, will improve moods and concentration, relax muscles and decrease anger and stress. Nicotine also stimulates the release of the chemical dopamine in the brain, which is involved in triggering positive feelings.
But what are smokers really doing to themselves for this brief moment of pleasure? Most people know about the physical health risks of smoking tobacco, but research shows that smoking also affects people’s mental health.
Cigarettes are made up of 70 main ingredients and up to 599 additives. They include carcinogens such as Benzene, Formaldehyde and Vinyl Chloride; toxic metals such as Arsenic and Cadmium; as well as poisons such as Ammonia, Carbon Monoxide, Hydrogen Cyanide and Nicotine. These are all physically damaging to the body.
In the long-term, tobacco affects the mind too. Nicotine encourages the brain to switch off its own mechanism for creating naturally occurring Dopamine so that in the long term the supply decreases, which in turn prompts people to smoke more. And, of course, the feeling of relaxation as a result of Nicotine is temporary, leading to cravings and withdrawal symptoms. People with anxiety and depression have particular difficulty when they try to stop smoking and often have more severe symptoms.
Did reading that stress you out? Now may be a great time to sit back and relax with that roll-up in hand. But first, looking at it this way, is it worth what you pay for it in terms of finance, physical and mental health problems?
Think of all the other ways that the money you spend on cigarettes could go to good use. Think about what your kids are learning from you when they watch you smoking. Think about whether you would mix up a glass of toxic liquid and give it to a loved one. No? Then why are you giving it to yourself?
Quite often there are more serious reasons for smoking. If you sat quietly, closed your eyes and took yourself back to when you originally started smoking – who was with you? How did you feel together? What was the connection between your first smoke and your environment? This is how hypnotherapy can help you figure out when and why you started smoking, and work with you to make a change. It’s not always enough to know that it’s not good for you but the when and why you started in the first place can be transformational in your desire to stop.
So, ask yourself, do you really love yourself? Maybe you didn’t realise you were actually slowly committing suicide while paying the tobacco company for the ‘pleasure’. If your eyes have been opened and your awareness aroused, isn’t it time to give yourself what you truly deserve?